321neoLR
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Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:59 pm

With the latest post about boeings nsa, and possible 757 replacement..(I know sorry to raise it again!), I have a question for the serious Speculators here.

What would Airbus do?

They have a good product line currently, however, there is still a gap on 240-280 seat aircraft.

I had seen in the past some suggestions of an A322, or A325/6, is this possibility the future boeing max of the Airbus line?

At some stage boeing and Airbus will have to come up with a new modern replacement to the A320/b737 portfolio. By the looks of things, boeing may strike first.

Any thoughts?

Really enjoy reading the informative posts on here.

Many thanks
 
ukoverlander
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:24 pm

So is the question what would Airbus design and build in response to a Boeing aircraft that hasn't been designed or built?

My guess would be the A322-100, A323-100 and A324-100 series.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:27 pm

I would expect a stretched A321 (the "A322") would run into the same issue the 737-9 is against the A321-200neo - it's a less-optimized design for the role.

Airbus might launch it as a stop-gap, but eventually they would need to respond with their own "clean sheet" narrowbody family.
 
Someone83
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:30 pm

Quoting 321neoLR (Thread starter):
They have a good product line currently, however, there is still a gap on 240-280 seat aircraft.

It is not that all gap necessary must be filled.

And for the 240-280 seat market they have the A330-200 and -300 and soon -800neo and -900neo
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:52 pm

I think the next iteration of the 320 series A.N., (after neo), will be more of an NG than all new. I think they will keep the fuselage, (perhaps using Al-Li), do new wings and use the latest GTF. Their fuselage is pretty much ideal for a narrow body. Why spend time, effort and money on something you really don't need to change?

I really doubt any composite of the future will be much lighter or stronger than a light aluminum, (or aluminium), alloy. Wings gain the most benefit from composites, making compound curves significantly easier.

They may go with folding wings, (in fact, I think many aircraft will be going that way), a longer gear option for stretches, and maybe 2 sets of wings so the shorter models aren't carrying around a bunch of weight they don't need.

From the side, I think the 320 NSA will look very much like the current models.
What the...?
 
B777LRF
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:54 pm

Look at it from this perspective:

Airbus has Boeing by the short and curlies in the neo vs MAX race, there really is no better way to put it. For all intents and purposes, the MAX name very much gives the game away: It's a 737 taken to the max, as in there's really nothing more to do with it. It's a heavier NG, carrying a bit less payload over a slightly longer range burning less fuel.

Airbus is far less constrained with the neo and apart from offering engine options, including a bigger-fanned version of the same engine hanging off a MAX, it also has the growth potential a MAX does not. This is best evidenced by the latest 93T WV of the A321 (the neoLR). In other words, they're offering more payload, more range and an even bigger reduction in fuel burn - and there's room yet to go even further.

Given all that, the impetus on making a next generation move is somewhat firmly on Boeing. However, both manufacturers are living by the development cycle of new technologies, which will provide enough of an improvement to make it worth the effort. Carbon composite fuselages and wings, aerodynamic tweaks to a tube-with-wings and laminar flowing nacelles and tails will not, in themselves, be enough to bring the needed step-change in efficiency. The key is, as nearly always, on the engine side. And the sad fact of the matter is, that we are unlikely to see next generation engines until 2025-30 at the earliest. That is what will drive the schedule, not Boeings desire to build a better mousetrap than the neo - and certainly not various armchair specialists, analysts etc. and their calls for the impossible.

But it will most likely be Boeing who moves first, and once they've shown their hand that will allow Airbus to tweak the competing product they will have been working on, so that - as today - no two models will be exactly the same.

What those products will be, is anyone's guess. But I'm fairly certain that, as today, they'll be pretty close to each other. After all, 2+2 is 4 in any language.
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astuteman
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:08 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
I would expect a stretched A321 (the "A322") would run into the same issue the 737-9 is against the A321-200neo - it's a less-optimized design for the role.

I'm not so sure.
The A321 is much nearer the 757 in terms of ground clearance than it is to the 737 (by a factor of about 2:1)
A 752 length aircraft should be ok.
don't forget the 757 was stretched to 753 length.
And the 757-300's take-off distances aren't that far off the 757-200's

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 4):
I think the next iteration of the 320 series A.N., (after neo), will be more of an NG than all new. I think they will keep the fuselage, (perhaps using Al-Li), do new wings and use the latest GTF. Their fuselage is pretty much ideal for a narrow body. Why spend time, effort and money on something you really don't need to change?

I pretty much agree with your assessment here

rgds
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:18 pm

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 5):
Airbus has Boeing by the short and curlies in the neo vs MAX race, there really is no better way to put it.

Not exactly. While the 321neo is handily outselling the 739, the 738 is doing pretty well against the 320, even into the MAX/NEO models.

Both lines are not only going full tilt but they are being expanded as fast as possible.

Nobody wins or loses until one production line slows or stops before the other...that's where any differences in sales will be felt...and we're talking into the next decade before that becomes an issue.

A lot can happen in the next 5 years.
What the...?
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:28 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
I would expect a stretched A321 (the "A322") would run into the same issue the 737-9 is against the A321-200neo - it's a less-optimized design for the role.

The 737-9's real problem is not enough ground clearance and resulting poor field performance. The A322's problem would be a bit different: not enough wing resulting in limited lift. But I still think it could make a very good aircraft, just with shorter range (because of lower fuel + payload capacity) than the A321 has.
 
Bambel
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:52 pm

I started a thread about this a few weeks ago:

Airbus Answer To Boeings NSA (by Bambel Jan 18 2015 in Civil Aviation)

b.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:01 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 6):
I'm not so sure.
The A321 is much nearer the 757 in terms of ground clearance than it is to the 737 (by a factor of about 2:1)
A 752 length aircraft should be ok.
don't forget the 757 was stretched to 753 length.
And the 757-300's take-off distances aren't that far off the 757-200's

All true, however I believe that these "757 replacements" are actually aimed more at 767-200ER missions in terms of range and capacity than 757-200ER. And as a "clean-sheet" development, Boeing will be able to optimize the wing and operating weights for such missions - something I am not sure Airbus will be able to match with an updated A321.

And, as someone mentioned in another thread, Boeing could also tailor the fuselage design to be more ovoid on the X axis to allow 2+3+2 at ~19" (for medium/long-haul) or 2+4+2-abreast at ~17" (for short-haul) and perhaps allow two LD3 containers to fit in the hold.
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:35 am

I don't know about the NSA but Boeing needs the new SA to be at east 6 inches wider...if they don't, Airbus will still be the better aircraft for the sake of PaX confort...

TRB
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enzo011
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:48 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 10):
And, as someone mentioned in another thread, Boeing could also tailor the fuselage design to be more ovoid on the X axis to allow 2+3+2 at ~19" (for medium/long-haul) or 2+4+2-abreast at ~17" (for short-haul) and perhaps allow two LD3 containers to fit in the hold.

And how long before 2+4+2 is standard for the long-haul carriers? If you give an airline the chance to squeeze in a extra seat then there is a 90% chance they will take it. So why give them the chance?
 
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Stitch
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:46 pm

Quoting enzo011 (Reply 12):
And how long before 2+4+2 is standard for the long-haul carriers? If you give an airline the chance to squeeze in a extra seat then there is a 90% chance they will take it. So why give them the chance?

The suggestion was that at that passenger density, the operating weight would be too high to tank sufficient fuel for long-haul missions.

But your point is valid and chances are even if such a scenario was the case at the start, Boeing would work on HGW versions to allow such operations. But then the point of the program would be to sell airframes so if that would sell more frames, as a Boeing shareholder I can't express disappointment if that happened.  
 
Burkhard
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:10 pm

I always wonder why all of a sudden 220-240 seater narrow bodies get so popular here. For decades it was common wisdon that they take ages to board, and can not be used for normal rotations, and the highly efficient 757-300 shows the market size for such a bird.
Every design significantly above the A321 will be twin aisle.
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:19 pm

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 14):
. For decades it was common wisdon that they take ages to board, and can not be used for normal rotations, and the highly efficient 757-300 shows the market size for such a bird.

I've always disagreed with this "common wisdom" and argued there is a market for a larger narrowbody. The 757-300 was a victim of very bad market timing; its operators love it to death despite outdated technology. And any widebody smaller than about a 787-8 is plagued by serious efficiency problems. The 767-300ER was the best of all such attempts to date, and it was thoroughly beaten in the market by the A330.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:40 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 15):
I always wonder why all of a sudden 220-240 seater narrow bodies get so popular here. For decades it was common wisdon that they take ages to board, and can not be used for normal rotations, and the highly efficient 757-300 shows the market size for such a bird.

The answer is two-fold. First, long narrow bodies *are* problematic and are (IMHO) unlikely to take over all the roles of small wide bodies or medium-sized narrow bodies.

But at the same time, there is a fair amount of demand for them. Obviously, the low cost achievable with them matters. For a six hour sector the longer turn-around time may not matter as much as for a two hour one. When you board the aircraft from a door in the middle of the airframe rather than at the front, it will help boarding efficiency. When you board using two stairs and not a gate, it helps.
 
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par13del
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:15 pm

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 14):
I always wonder why all of a sudden 220-240 seater narrow bodies get so popular here.

...because they get you the bulk of the lower end segment of the previous wide body only market at narrow body cost.
767 and A330 routes are being replaced by 737/757 / A32X a/c wherever possible, for the same fares but lower operational cost, a win for the airlines.
In the discussion on the NSA, if you either OEM uses the lowest narrow seat allowed, it may allow two aisles to enable quicker boarding, the issue would be whether the aisle has to be wide enough for carts or people.
Who would be first up to apply for an exemption if not allowed? Transcons in the USA for example are flown on narrow body a/c at time with little to no service, so do we really need the aisles for carts?
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:19 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
because they get you the bulk of the lower end segment of the previous wide body only market at narrow body cost

Indeed.

I'd say Airbus called this right, they saw the fragmentation trend, the point-to-point traffic emerging, and worked on suitable narrowbody planes for that. While Boeing focused only on bigger widebody planes that might not be in such a great demand in the coming years. Like the 787. And I don't even want mention the 779. I guess socialistic work programs in the US only wanted to make the biggest and the reportedly most advanced planes, while completely ignoring actual business demand. I guess the sales do not matter, if state support and bankruptcy laws will in case bail you out no matter what the outcome is.

Oh wait... I have my arguments somehow mixed up. Sorry.

 Big grin

[Edited 2015-02-15 18:21:11]
 
dare100em
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:24 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
The suggestion was that at that passenger density, the operating weight would be too high to tank sufficient fuel for long-haul missions.

But your point is valid and chances are even if such a scenario was the case at the start, Boeing would work on HGW versions to allow such operations. But then the point of the program would be to sell airframes so if that would sell more frames, as a Boeing shareholder I can't express disappointment if that happened.

As Stich said, the idea would be to build that plane structural and regarding payload that a Long-haul Operation in an 8-abreast configuration just won't be possible because of payload/range restrictions. That would allow it to be much, much lighter like a 787-8 or even an A330-200. With 7-abreast it could go about 6000 nm under all conditions, with 8-abreast it could be a good charter plane for up to 300 pax at 4000 nm trips. Of course it would be critical to not follow a road of making it a real Long hauler adding to much capabilities and weight bringing it to close to the 787. So the fuselage would be a 767-diameterm maybe 3-4 Inch wider.

Someone mentioned that the cargo is a Problem with such a configuration, because you just can't take LD3's - like the 767. That's a very valid Point. IMO the only Option would be to stay with LD3/45 (like A320 handles) and shape the fuselage noncircular for minimal drag.

This plan could very well eaten all the market above the A321 well into A330-300 and 787-8 territory. 787-8 will be gone anyway in 5-6 years reading new orders.

But it would be very challenging to build such a "small twin" - no question about that. Odds are high Boeing just goes with a larger NSA. Anyway "add 20% capacity" - like 757 Operators seems to be interested in on the base of a 6-abreat narrowbody has it's own challenges. That means 240 pax in a very long tube even more extreme like a 757-300 with all the consequences’ regarding fitness ratio…
 
321neoLR
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:03 am

I can personally see Airbus having a similar model. But the321 would be the base model, 320 shorter, and maybe a stretched 321 from 240 pax up to maybe 270 pax.

These aircraft would have to have an increase in range.

I think boeing would have to have a clean sheet plan to compete because of the 737 limitation.

Airbus could have a much lower cost production and development program, until sometime in the distant future, it requires a clean sheet plan.

I think the only real limitation on the Airbus narrow body design is the wing. More wing area, lighter materials, and more fuel tanks.

Airbus will have a preview of boeings plans, as they will have to develop the Nsa first. This will help them improve just a little more than the boeing product.

Airbus also has a better commanality of cockpits for flight crews. You could have the same pilots flying 320/321/321LR/32X/330,(not sure about the 350) covering flights from 40 mins, to 13 hours.

Although I think boeing has a stronger wide body product, I think cockpit commanality is relatively poor, unless the nsa matches the 779, 787.

For the foreseeable future it looks like Airbus will be ahead on the narrow body, and boing ahead on the wide body.
 
packsonflight
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:58 am

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 4):

I think the next iteration of the 320 series A.N., (after neo), will be more of an NG than all new. I think they will keep the fuselage, (perhaps using Al-Li), do new wings and use the latest GTF. Their fuselage is pretty much ideal for a narrow body. Why spend time, effort and money on something you really don't need to change?

I agree

The 320 platform has to much life not to do NG on it before Airbus goes for all new narrow body platform, which they have to do shortly after Boeing.

There are two reasons why it is so hard for Boeing do new narrow body aircraft. One is that the pilots for the new aircraft will have to be retrained for the new type from the 737, and if the pilots have to be retrained anyway why stick with Boeing?

The second reason is lost cash stream in the transition. When the production of the 737 winds down, and the ramp-up starts with the new aircraft, which could take up to 5 years to reach the production rate for the 737. The lost sales in the transition could reach 1000 aircraft

It really makes sense for Airbus to do NG job on the 321, and throw in 322 while they are at it. By doing that they will get the component vendors up to speed producing parts and systems for the new wing which will smoothen the transition to all new narrow body family, by shortening the ramp-um time for the new platform.

It is not just about making money on the rewing program for the 320 family, it is about limiting the losses in the transition to a all new family
 
billreid
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:13 pm

This is super hypothetical.
Addressing how AB will respond to an aircraft not yet designed is leaning into fantasy.

What we do know is the A321 is a derivative of the A320, already a twenty year old base design. Of course that has advantages over the 40 year base design on the B737 series.
Both models are still being churned out of factories so BA and AB both have time.

Assuming that BA releases and sells a NSA clean sheet that will have a very similar response that the B787 design did followed by the A350. (I doubt an A320neo-NEO is sustainable.)
So what will we see:
BA: will take five years speaking to its best customers asking subtly what is your perfect world replacement for B737series and A320series. They will draw a snapshot of what their customers want and will buy. They will also use technology and industry trends to design a plane that makes both the A320series and B737series obsolete. After they kick off sales they will sell 1,200 frames before the first screw is milled. (Most likely small wide body that increases turn rate and other efficiencies.)
AB: will immediately announce a A320series upgrade as a bridge aircraft until they can study the response to the NSA. The majority of their customers will look at the A320 upgrade as boring in comparison to a clean sheet design. AB will then design a cleansheet replacement for the A320 for the market with an EIS of about three to four years after the NSA.

The great part of the response is AB will lose the long design gap in years that exists between the B737 and the A320series. At that point in time there will be limited differences between products with competing design occurring within just a few years.

Where AB has an advantage is BA will design the cleansheet first allowing for them to respond. But AB loses the two decade base design split it has taken advantage in regards to A320 vs B737. BA also will have an order advantage over AB by selling a cleansheet first.

In many ways similar to the A350 being designed after the B787.

What is beautiful for the consumer is the competitive base in product. This afterall, is mostly about fuselage and seating plan. Unfortunately for AB the gap between designs will disappear. For this reason AB will ride the A320series gravy train until the new design ship sails to the industry.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
astuteman
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:36 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 10):
And, as someone mentioned in another thread, Boeing could also tailor the fuselage design to be more ovoid on the X axis to allow 2 3 2 at ~19" (for medium/long-haul) or 2 4 2-abreast at ~17" (for short-haul) and perhaps allow two LD3 containers to fit in the hold.

I get the arguments for a twin aisle, and I buy the "ovoid" argument.
But for me, a plane of this description - essentially a modern version of a 767 doesn't belong in the discussion, as it's just too big for a "New Small Aircraft". A 767 is already 186" across the cabin, and won't do what you describe here.

If such a plane were to play into "narrowbody volume", I would expect it to look as much like a narrowbody as possible - i.e. comfy 2 x 2 x 2 or "uncomfy" 2 x 3 x 2, with an ovoid fuselage some 30" (20%) wider than the A320, but not much higher. This would give a fuselage with some 10% more wetted area, but 20% more interior volume

I also don't see 46m or so wingspan on a plane designed to replace the 737-900 and 757.
I think if it is anticipated to sell in the 500 a year bracket, it will need to able to be code C gate compliant
Which means IMO a plane still light enough to essentially use a "narrowbody" wing, but with a folding tip (not dissimilar IMO to a 757 wing, but in CFRP and with a folding tip.
4 500Nm nominal range tops.

All that said, the issue that I have with the concept is that it will still be a stand-alone family above a single-aisle (e.g. 737-8 MAX).
It would almost certainly work at 757-300 capacity, but at 757-200 capacity or lower, I think commonality with the 737-8/A320 sized aircraft would be a real benefit - just my opinion.

Quoting 321neoLR (Thread starter):
What would Airbus do?

Difficult to tell when we are all really guessing what the Boeing NSA might actually look like.

But when an aircraft is flying around in the numbers that the A320 (and 737) are, and being delivered in those numbers, there have got to be some pretty big barriers to exit, unless the product just doesn't cut it any more.

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 21):
There are two reasons why it is so hard for Boeing do new narrow body aircraft. One is that the pilots for the new aircraft will have to be retrained for the new type from the 737, and if the pilots have to be retrained anyway why stick with Boeing?

The second reason is lost cash stream in the transition. When the production of the 737 winds down, and the ramp-up starts with the new aircraft, which could take up to 5 years to reach the production rate for the 737. The lost sales in the transition could reach 1000 aircraft

It really makes sense for Airbus to do NG job on the 321, and throw in 322 while they are at it. By doing that they will get the component vendors up to speed producing parts and systems for the new wing which will smoothen the transition to all new narrow body family, by shortening the ramp-um time for the new platform.

I think the fleet commonality, parts commonality, rating commonality, and supply chain commonality, are big weapons in that armoury of an A32X Next Generation that a new entrant will have to work hard to overcome (from either manufacturer)

Rgds
Rgds
 
astuteman
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:07 pm

Quoting billreid (Reply 22):
This is super hypothetical.

Indeed. Continuing the hypothesis ...

Quoting billreid (Reply 22):
BA: will take five years speaking to its best customers asking subtly what is your perfect world replacement for B737series and A320series. They will draw a snapshot of what their customers want and will buy. They will also use technology and industry trends to design a plane that makes both the A320series and B737series obsolete

sounds reasonable

Quoting billreid (Reply 22):
AB: will immediately announce a A320series upgrade as a bridge aircraft until they can study the response to the NSA. The majority of their customers will look at the A320 upgrade as boring in comparison to a clean sheet design.

I think that's exactly what they will do..

you just forgot the :-

Quoting billreid (Reply 22):
And immediately order this A320 series upgrade in such large quantities on such short lead times that BA are forced to re-think re-engining and re-landing-gearing the 737MAX and shelve all ideas of an NSA

And as you say

Quoting billreid (Reply 22):
The great part of the response is AB will lose none of the long design gap in years that exists between the B737 and the A320series


Period.

Sound familiar?  

Rgds
 
bobdino
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:22 pm

Interesting and thought-provoking thread.

To follow on from astuteman...

What's to stop Airbus announcing an A321 & A322 with a new wing before Boeing launches any NSA? By (say) 2018, Airbus should have a solid idea how engines will look weight- + size-wise out to 2030, meaning they could launch with current-ish engines, and re-engine 10 years later in confidence.

It would (a) pre-empt Boeing, (b) give Airbus customers range, density, and cargo options, and (c) be buildable on the same lines with massively less risk than any all-new aircraft.
 
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aerolimani
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:31 pm

The benefits of composites, for creating compound curves in wings, are much praised. For fuselage, on the other hand, with the development of things like Al-Li, some have said that the A320 family fuselage needs no change. What about the concept of a lift-generating fuselage? Composites could make this a more reasonable possibility, could they not? I realize this rather complicates the concept of stretches and shrinks. Still, if an aircraft builder were truly looking for a revolutionary design… perhaps by the time Airbus is ready for a fully new NB, something like this could really shake things up.
 
ODwyerPW
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:40 pm

Airbus has never re-winged the A320... That's an option open to them..

737 has gone through 4 interations...
A320 has only gone through 2.

There is plenty of growth left in that frame.
Double Bogey, Re-Wing, Stretch and some PIPs for the Leap/GTF and Airbus can produce a very compelling 225-270 narrowbody aircraft without going cleansheet.
They could even adopt some of the systems of the A350. The basic fuselaje sections can carry on through another generaton.

A320 has some advantages in comparison to the 737. An NSA would probably just acheive parity.
1. Cabin cross section
2. Larger doors for egress/ingress.
3. Full fly by wire
4. Cargo Carrying
5. Commonality accross different families.

Through all of this, A320 will continue to be stuck with it's smallish Windows and barking floor... but no sense it tearing into any of that for a Next Generation A320.
learning never stops.
 
strfyr51
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:59 pm

the A321 has gone about as Far as the A320 airframe is going.
They can's cut down an A310 sized airplane so they'll need a CLEAN sheet design as they have no 757 airplane
Boeing on the other hand has the B767-2C and the B787-3 that could be kicked to life with newer Engines as they wouldn't require that much imagination to bring to the Table.
OR?? re-launch an updated version of the B757 in CFRP or one of the new Aluminum-Lithium Alloys under Development by Alcoa
Like their 2099 and 2199 alloys that are lighter and Stronger than present Alloys. Using aluminum would cut airframe Manufacturing and Field repair times as most all Mechanics are familiar with structural repair principles
Many have been trained on Composite repairs as well. But the new airplane would Definitely benefit from Aluminum as the repairs don't have to Cure and might take half the time.
 
BlueShamu330s
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:41 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 28):
the A321 has gone about as Far as the A320 airframe is going.
They can's cut down an A310 sized airplane so they'll need a CLEAN sheet design as they have no 757 airplane
Boeing on the other hand has the B767-2C and the B787-3 that could be kicked to life with newer Engines as they wouldn't require that much imagination to bring to the Table.
OR?? re-launch an updated version of the B757 in CFRP or one of the new Aluminum-Lithium Alloys under Development by Alcoa



You're blowing smoke.

Airbus has the huge advantage of already having a frame which sits proudly higher off the ground, capable of taking larger fan engines; Boeing playing catchup, requiring NSA.

Boeing have rewinged the B737 over its lifetime to keep it efficient and modern; Airbus have not yet had to do the same. As the current frame can already carry the neo, the prospect of a rewing as the next stage of the current frame's evolution seems a very natural and logical one and could breathe another 10 - 15 years life into the frame.

There is still room in the length of the current landing gear of the A321 to allow a further stretch. Call it an A322neo with a new wing, greater fuel capacity, more weight taken out of the fuselage and there's a very, very competitive frame to go up against anything Boeing might be developing.

Rgds
Flying around India
 
ODwyerPW
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:24 pm

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 29):
You're blowing smoke.

More like inhaling it. My goodness he is so loyal to one manufacturer that he's suggesting things almost beyond reason.

I live on the North American Continent.. Therefore, I prefer that Boeing sell more planes as it stimulates the economy here.
There I said it. No nationalistic sentiment, purely economic interest.

That said, I would be an idiot to fail to recognize that the A320 has inherit advantages that are going to carry it forward for another 15 years with reasonable capital expenditures.
There's an A322/325 coming. It's going to be highly competitive and it's going to be developed at a fraction of the cost of the Boeing NSA.

Boeing's NSA (737/757 replacement) is going to have to be spectacular! The NSA (797) going to have to be as large a step change from the 737 as the 787 was from the 767.
learning never stops.
 
airbazar
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:25 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 4):
I think the next iteration of the 320 series A.N., (after neo), will be more of an NG than all new. I think they will keep the fuselage, (perhaps using Al-Li), do new wings and use the latest GTF. Their fuselage is pretty much ideal for a narrow body. Why spend time, effort and money on something you really don't need to change?

I think the fuselage is too wide. No one is putting 18" wide seats on the A320 any more and the 737 has done just fine with 17.2" wide seats. The current a320 fuselage was designed for 18" seats and LD3 pallets. Fewer and fewer airlines are using either of those and as a consequence the A320 is carrying around a log of unused dead weight. I would be very surprised if the next NB design from Airbus is not narrower.
 
ODwyerPW
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:15 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 31):
No one is putting 18" wide seats on the A320 any more

Southwest will be fitting 17.8" (nominally 18") seats on their 737MAX.
They are reworking the frames to extend slightly outwards (closer to the sidepanels) to accomodate the extra width.

I can't imagine Airbus ever losing the width.
learning never stops.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:08 pm

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 29):

Airbus has the huge advantage of already having a frame which sits proudly higher off the ground, capable of taking larger fan engines; Boeing playing catchup, requiring NSA.

I guess I missed where the A320 sitting higher off the ground means that Boeing will require a NSA. If everything was about ground clearance, it is possible that the 737 main gear could be modified to raise clearance for bigger engines or more rotation angle.

There are so many factors to consider. The 737 has traditionally had a lower empty weight per seat than the A320 (depending on exact seat count). Having a smaller diameter fuselage, smaller diameter engine, and being lower to the ground help this. So while the A320 is proudly higher off the ground, it is also heavier per seat, which is a significant disadvantage. It has to make up this advantage and one of the ways it does this is with a higher bypass ratio.

http://airlineconsultants.com/index....eing-737-max-versus-airbus-320-ne/
*It is worth noting that there are some seat count factors involved with a chart like this, so an exact comparison cannot be easily made.

The A320NEO and the 737MAX airplanes are both going to be big improvements. The 737MAX has some more significant design constraints to overcome and will become relatively heavier, but it is starting with an advantage. I don't see a reason why parity from an operating efficiency point of view will not be maintained. There are positive aspects of the 737 and there are positive aspects of the A320 that affect efficiency. Neither one is superior to the other in all cases. It is dependent on the specific operator, route structure, capacity, etc.

[Edited 2015-02-16 13:12:30]
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
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PW100
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:54 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 33):
So while the A320 is proudly higher off the ground, it is also heavier per seat, which is a significant disadvantage

Ah, so that's why the 757 is so uneconomical these days. And why a NEO/MAX version is not an attractive proposition . . .   
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
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par13del
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:58 pm

Quoting ODwyerPW (Reply 30):
The NSA (797) going to have to be as large a step change from the 737 as the 787 was from the 767.

The reality is that if such a step change were to happen it would be driven by the engine makers.
Boeing is presently doing CRFP barrels for it 787 and so far based on what we have seen leaked, it does not appear as if that tech transcends well to the 737 size frame in terms of saving weight, ALI is comparable so.........

At best as stated in other threads, I agree that Boeing will do the larger model of the NSA first which will be its replacement / enhancement for the 757 space allowing them to perfect the design, production and supplier issues, the smaller model will follow, until there is a major breakthrough in engine technology, there really is little need to go an all new frame.
Even though it is not being done, I am not one of those who thinks that the landing gear of the 737 cannot be raised, as in a physical impossibility.
 
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enzo011
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:13 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 33):
I guess I missed where the A320 sitting higher off the ground means that Boeing will require a NSA. If everything was about ground clearance, it is possible that the 737 main gear could be modified to raise clearance for bigger engines or more rotation angle.

There are so many factors to consider. The 737 has traditionally had a lower empty weight per seat than the A320 (depending on exact seat count). Having a smaller diameter fuselage, smaller diameter engine, and being lower to the ground help this. So while the A320 is proudly higher off the ground, it is also heavier per seat, which is a significant disadvantage. It has to make up this advantage and one of the ways it does this is with a higher bypass ratio.

Does the fact that the A320neo is outselling the 737MAX not indicate that the higher clearance is an advantage? I would have thought that both the NEO and the MAX are getting bigger engines actually shows that this is a positive for both airframes. What I find interesting is that Boeing is claiming that the 69" diameter is the ideal size. Is this then Boeing confirming that the A320 had the ideal fan size all along at 68"s?

Does anyone know what the 737MAX weight increase will be? It seems as though the changes that will need to be done will bring the two airframes to almost parity regarding weight.
 
321neoLR
Topic Author
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:29 pm

If you compare both types, they are very close.

It's only when you add the 321 and the proposed 321LR that Airbus takes an advantage. This is purely because of fleet commanality. Both pilots, cabin crew and engineers can operate under one type.

Going forward, Airbus only has to modify the wing with more fuel tanks, make it lighter and more efficient, and stretch the 321.'this gives them 130-270 seat range on one type, with only engine and wing modification. The gear might need beefing up, but not a redesign.

Boeing on the other hand is constrained with the 737. If they come out with the nsa approx 757 length, with common cockpit with the 787/777,, and eventually when the max orders start drying up, launch the shorter version, then if their newer technology is ahead of Airbus, Boeing could take the narrow body market back. Pilots could fly the 7x7 nsa from 130-270 seats, and do a short conversion (ccq) to the 777/787.

I still feel that for the next 10-15 years, Airbus has a simpler job to do with less overheads to stay competitive.

It all depends how the 350 competes, is it a real competitor to the 777/787?

If I had a crystal ball I would guess the following.

Airbus
320/321/322/350/380(maybe)

Boeing
7x7-8/9/10/787/777/747(maybe)

The secret will be commanality.

I have heard a ceo in the past say that it is a mistake having all one type, as you lose bargaining power with the manufacturers.
 
astuteman
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:41 am

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 33):
So while the A320 is proudly higher off the ground, it is also heavier per seat, which is a significant disadvantage.

Which teaches us the value of charts which declare "efficiency" against one of only many parameters, I guess.

To put some context around this "significant disadvantage"..

Orders in the last 5 years - A32X - 5,754, 737 - 4,316
backlog - A32X - 5,099, 737 - 4,269

Reality just doesn't align to the "disadvantage" message contained in the chart and your post.
It's pretty difficult to argue against the A320 series having the "advantage" in the marketplace today.
As you say, one of the ways it does this is:-

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 33):
It has to make up this advantage and one of the ways it does this is with a higher bypass ratio.

Which confers a better SFC.
And where better SFC really tells in in the longer sectors where fuel burn is a higher proportion of the trip cost.
And where as these narrowbodys become ever more capable is where much of the growth is likely to be seen.
And where any talk of a "replacement for the 757" focusses.


Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 33):
I guess I missed where the A320 sitting higher off the ground means that Boeing will require a NSA. If everything was about ground clearance, it is possible that the 737 main gear could be modified to raise clearance for bigger engines or more rotation angle

From my seat, that's been the context of most of the discussions recently.

Backlog of the largest 737 model stands at:-

737-900ER - 215
737-9 MAX - 289
Total - 504

Backlog of the largest A320 model

A321 - 546
A321NEO - 755
Total 1 301

At 2.6 X the backlog of the 737-9/900 this is clearly where the A320 series is pulling away.
It's also signalled as the growth area going forward.
And most informed observers cite the 737-900/9 ground clearance and attendant dismal field performance as one of the key drivers behind this disparity.

I'm not that close the MAX programme, but if, as you suggest, it was simple to alter the MLG of the 737, I think Boeing would have done so.
I have a suspicion that doing so had such a large impact on one of the most constrained parts of the platform, that they might as well design a new aeroplane.

I think there's fairly strong grounds why the 737's lack of ground clearance might be one of the biggest factors behind pressure for Boeing to do NSA first.

despite the 737's significant advantages"  

Rgds
 
airbazar
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:33 pm

Quoting ODwyerPW (Reply 32):
Southwest will be fitting 17.8" (nominally 18") seats on their 737MAX.

That's 1 airline and it doesn't change the fact that at shoulder level everything remains the same. Reality is that even long haul carriers are narrowing their seats to less than 18". An A320 with a narrower fuselage today would be lighter and blow the current 737 out of the water. Unless Boeing widens the fuselage on their NSA, which I doubt they will, I can't imagine Airbus keeping theirs as wide as it is today.
 
packsonflight
Posts: 385
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:45 pm

It vould be interesting to see if the new Airbus 320 US based assembly facility uses the conventional A320 assembly method, or if they have installed A350 like structure or fuse/wing joining jig that can be adaptabele to new carbon fiber wing/center wing box.

If Airbus has installed this new structure, it would be indicator of their future plans with the A320 family
 
dare100em
Posts: 278
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:25 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 39):
That's 1 airline and it doesn't change the fact that at shoulder level everything remains the same. Reality is that even long haul carriers are narrowing their seats to less than 18". An A320 with a narrower fuselage today would be lighter and blow the current 737 out of the water. Unless Boeing widens the fuselage on their NSA, which I doubt they will, I can't imagine Airbus keeping theirs as wide as it is today.

I'm not sure. First the cargo capabilities come into mind (LD3/45). Second is, that especially if the NSA allows further distances, in fact replacing 757s/767s and A330-200, a smaller fuselage would be even more of an issue. Third is that with CRP-usage you get a trade of regarding structural strength with a wider fuselage (you can get thinner, manufacturing benefits) - that's probably one of the reason Boeing always talks about a 2-2-2 or 2-3-2 configuration which wouldn't make sense.
Odds are high the NSA is close ore very Close to the A320 fuselage.
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9602
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:44 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 38):

Which teaches us the value of charts which declare "efficiency" against one of only many parameters, I guess.

There are many factors involved. Ground clearance is one factor, but there are many parameters. The Airbus marketing team promotes ground clearance (bigger engines, etc) and cabin width as competitive advantages. Those come at the expense of weight, which is what Boeing marketing shows as a competitive advantage. There is no one ideal solution. That is why there is no one clear winner.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 38):
I'm not that close the MAX programme, but if, as you suggest, it was simple to alter the MLG of the 737, I think Boeing would have done so.
I have a suspicion that doing so had such a large impact on one of the most constrained parts of the platform, that they might as well design a new aeroplane.

I think there's fairly strong grounds why the 737's lack of ground clearance might be one of the biggest factors behind pressure for Boeing to do NSA first.

despite the 737's significant advantages"

The 737 main landing gear can be raised. It absolutely is possible, but it would increase the weight of the airplane. Not only would the weight of the gear, and likely structure in the wing/wingbox go up, but then you'll need to add overwing exit slides and other factors start cascading. Weight is a 737 competitive advantage, so they'll try to not lose that. The MAX found some solutions that worked by raising the nose and modifying the engine strut. There is no one factor that is an absolute limit. They are all related. If increasing engine diameter a few inches causes significant modifications to the gear that would add weight, then staying smaller and lighter may produce the better product. There is no such thing as engineering without compromise (despite what mazda advertising tells us).

90% of airlines are telling Boeing to keep fuel burn on the average flight segment (2 hours and 900 miles) at a minimum. More range can help sell a few airplanes, but it does not help 90% of the mission profile. Airbus might continue to pull away on the A321 or even do an A322, but they should not forget about the core of the market right now which is closer to where the A320 and 737-800 is. Markets evolve, but there is no easy solution and no one parameter is going to decide when a new small airplane is necessary.

Quoting dare100em (Reply 41):
Odds are high the NSA is close ore very Close to the A320 fuselage.

Unless I got my physics wrong, a narrower fuselage weighs less and produces less drag regardless of material. Weight is the number one factor behind fuel burn. It takes significant economic justification to justify a wider fuselage if it does not bring in additional revenue. While some airlines might care more about passenger comfort or containers, very few are willing to increase fuel burn by even 0.1% to do it.

[Edited 2015-02-17 08:03:52]
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
airbazar
Posts: 9982
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:24 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 42):
Unless I got my physics wrong, a narrower fuselage weighs less and produces less drag regardless of material. Weight is the number one factor behind fuel burn. It takes significant economic justification to justify a wider fuselage if it does not bring in additional revenue.

  
Ding, ding, ding! You're absolutely right on this one.
As I said, I will be very surprised if Boeing widens the NSA fuselage or Airbus does not narrow theirs.

Quoting dare100em (Reply 41):
I'm not sure. First the cargo capabilities come into mind (LD3/45).

Although that was initially a selling point, it no longer is. The vast majority of Airbus customers, certainly the larger ones, are not using those.
 
BlueShamu330s
Posts: 2584
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:34 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 33):
I guess I missed where the A320 sitting higher off the ground means that Boeing will require a NSA.

I give you more credit than making that comment seriously.

Let's go back in time a little.

If past reports and statements are to be believed, Boeing invested quite heavily into researching the feasibility of redesigning the landing gear of the B737 family as part of the NG redesign. The rest was a 3.5" longer nose gear and longer main gear. As far as raising the frame, that was the design limit. I'm not sure much has changed which would enable Boeing to slap a radically different or longer gear under the current 737.



In 2011, there was talk of a B737RE, which would have required an 8" nose gear extension. However, that would have necessitated extensive redesign of section 41, fuselage, empennage...the list went on and on, and began to replicate the extensive and unexpected overruns Boeing experienced with 747 and the -8 and -intercontinental.

Historically, therefore, it is clear that Boeing have striven to raise the 737 to accommodate the 78" and 81" fans Airbus is easily able to utilise and if the NSA is no higher off the ground than the 737, I'll eat my hat, your hat and run naked round the Museum of flight...twice.  
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 33):
It has to make up this advantage and one of the ways it does this is with a higher bypass ratio.
Quoting astuteman (Reply 38):
Which confers a better SFC.

Indeed.   
Flying around India
 
packsonflight
Posts: 385
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:55 pm

RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:38 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 42):
The 737 main landing gear can be raised. It absolutely is possible, but it would increase the weight of the airplane. Not only would the weight of the gear, and likely structure in the wing/wingbox go up, but then you'll need to add overwing exit slides and other factors start cascading. Weight is a 737 competitive advantage, so they'll try to not lose that. The MAX found some solutions that worked by raising the nose and modifying the engine strut. There is no one factor that is an absolute limit. They are all related. If increasing engine diameter a few inches causes significant modifications to the gear that would add weight, then staying smaller and lighter may produce the better product. There is no such thing as engineering without compromise (despite what mazda advertising tells us).

It is not that simple. Boeing is limited by the original 737 certification, and they can only change so many things if they are going to stay within the boundaries of the grandfathered certification. If they change to much they run the risk of having to certify a whole new type.

I actually thought that Boeing pretty much exhausted the original certification with the NG
 
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par13del
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:36 pm

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 45):
It is not that simple. Boeing is limited by the original 737 certification,

I think certification is overblown, they just certified a new a/c - 787 - and grandfathered in another - 748i - the overrun's on the 787 were not mostly certification issues, batteries and the electrical panel are the ones that sprint to mind.
The 737 is a bulk selling a/c, so if they need to re-certify the a/c only the additional cost is a factor, somehow I don't think it will cost more than a new frame.

Boeing appear quite content to sell the existing 737 with the least modification possible to maintain some respectability, if they really wanted to get rid of it they could have stuck to the NSA rather than go the route of the MAX.
It should be noted that neither OEM can supply the needs of all the customers, so even if Boeing lost a couple years and hundreds of frames, they were virtually certain that there would have been NSA customers, even if they were only carriers who could not get NEO's in a reasonable period of time. As a matter of fact they have lost a couple years and a good number of frames, so .........
The beauty of a duopoly.
 
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Stitch
Posts: 26773
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RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:05 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 46):
The beauty of a duopoly.

I've thought much the same as you. I could see Boeing having been worried about the current "bubble" bursting, however, and in such a scenario that if they were still offering the 737NG against the A320neo, the first wave of cancellations would have been for the NG (being fairly less-efficient than the NEO).
 
JoeCanuck
Posts: 4704
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:13 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 31):

A wider fuselage gives a few advantages which can make a difference to flight operations; yes, you can use wider seats and containers. On the other hand, you also have the option of narrow seats and a wider aisle, which may allow people to pass each other without the need of a second aisle.

Quoting enzo011 (Reply 36):
Does the fact that the A320neo is outselling the 737MAX not indicate that the higher clearance is an advantage? I

The real clear advantage is the 321 over the 739. As for the A320/738 backlogs, both aircraft have full order books into the next decade so there aren't any losers here. Airbus has a bigger backlog but that doesn't matter until production slows or stops for one of the lines first, and that means no more orders in the next 5 or more years.

I really doubt that will happen to either maker.
What the...?
 
astuteman
Posts: 7086
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: Airbus Future Response To Boeing NSA

Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:25 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 42):
Those come at the expense of weight, which is what Boeing marketing shows as a competitive advantage. There is no one ideal solution. That is why there is no one clear winner.

I'll have to apologise for being persistent. But I think there is.

If you look at the numbers I posted above, one thing stands out.
In both current generation, and the NEO/MAX generation, the backlogs of the 2 smaller family members are remarkably similar.
near enough as to make no odds.
Whatever Boeing marketing might want you to believe, this, to me, clearly shows that the lower weight per seat, and the lower SFC of the smaller engine pretty much cancel each other out in the grand scheme of things.
And this is in a situation where the 737-800/737-8 has to also trade on its greater capacity (rightly so) in order to maintain parity at best.
And this is where landing gear length isn't an issue.

However, for both the A32XCEO vs 737NG and A32XNEO vs the 737MAX the difference is almost totally concentrated in the A321 vs 737-900/9MAX
Which is where landing gear IS an issue.

According to the chart you posted, the A321 clearly has a higher OEW per seat, and having more capacity, and being bigger, is clearly a LOT heavier than the 737-9's
But it's frankly blowing them away.
In your model, where weight is so important to the marketing people, this is absolutely counter-intuitive.

Despite its lower fuel burn on shorter sectors, and much lower weight, the largest 737, both NG and MAX, is getting buried by the heavierA321.
If fuel burn isn't the issue for the 737-9's, it HAS to be field performance, driven by the low landing gear.
I can think of no other parameter that can be responsible.

And for me this means that, whilst, for the smaller family members, the weight vs SFC equation is pretty much a wash, for the biggest members, the A321 is being handed a clear, sustainable advantage by it's height off the ground, allowing both the bigger engines, and the rotation clearance necessary for adequate field performance.
And it's making the A32X, as a family, a clear winner in the market.

Pertinent to the thread, my final comment is this.
Most people seem to have missed the most salient point as regards the A321NEO LR.

At it's heart it's JUST another A321, with all the benefits of commonality this brings.
I think this is surpassingly important going forward.

It's the heart of what I see as the decision making issue for Boeing in forming their NSA strategy.
If they launch NSA as a twin-aisle and keep the 737-8 MAX, they're going to have to compete with 2 families against one.
If they launch NSA as a complete range down to 737-8 size, then it isn't (IMO) going to be a twin aisle.
In which case, no matter how advanced it is, I think it will struggle to displace a simple A320NG (NEO derivative) from the marketplace, given the huge commonality and supply advantages said A320NG would have in the market.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 42):
90% of airlines are telling Boeing to keep fuel burn on the average flight segment (2 hours and 900 miles) at a minimum

90% of airlines told Boeing to launch NSA. And then promptly jumped on the bandwagon of the "heavy" A320NEO

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 42):
Weight is the number one factor behind fuel burn

Sorry, but that's just not true. It is one of many factors.
The ultimate determinants of fuel burn are drag and SFC
And a heavier wing with a longer span can reduce drag.
And a heavier engine with a higher bypass ratio can reduce SFC

just look at the comparison between the 767 and 787 ...  

Rgds

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